Over the past decade, we’ve seen mobile apps rise to be the go-to item businesses add to their competitive repertoire.
With Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store becoming major players with developers and businesses looking to expand offerings and make a few extra dollars, mobile apps have appeared to become unstoppable forces.
That was until chatbots were brought into mainstream via consumer/enterprise interactions.
What started as a way for businesses to better communicate internally has now turned into an external way to engage with consumers. This is around the same time that artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing saw major technological advancements and were incorporated into chatbots along with automation and analytics.
The power that chatbots wield in the retail arena is significant. In a conversation we had with Mindtree’s digital transformation specialist, Craig Besnoy, he highlighted the various ways in which chatbots are changing the game for retailers.
He said, “Chatbots enable retailers to gather more detailed analytics than a traditional eCommerce transaction. With chatbots, each element of the customer interaction can be tracked and adjusted in order to optimize the transaction flow. These leanings can then be brought back to traditional eCommerce environments to optimize a retailer’s entire commerce strategy.”
In addition to these benefits, Besnoy also noted that chatbots will influence retail beyond analytics in four unique ways, including multiple engagements from a single conversation, generating and qualifying leads, streamlining interactions with consumers, and making secure transactions.
As we reported on how 2017 has the potential to be the year of the chatbot, it’s likely that we’re off to a good start with the various companies partnering up with the likes of Facebook’s Messenger to provide more engaging and streamlined consumer experiences. What’s more is that ComScore research shows 80 percent of total app time is spent on three apps at most with 50 percent going to Facebook. As such, it may be safe to say that chatbots will likely either replace or greatly reduce the amount of apps used.
Given this along with Gartner’s prediction that customers are going to be managing 85 percent of their enterprise relationships without interacting with humans by the year 2020, it’s fair to say the chatbot industry is set for a major upswing in the next few years.
Two of the industries that are going to see the benefits of chatbots initially are health care and banking. As both of these industries have vast amounts of tedious tasks that involve gargantuan amounts of human interaction, Gartner’s above prediction may just come true.
According to a recent study by research firm Juniper Research, chatbots are going to cut more than $8B per year by 2022. It claims that 90 percent of queries in health care and banking will have had some level of interaction, with chatbots coming in at $0.70 cost savings per exchange. While the research does show chatbot success rates in both of these areas is quite low, it claims health care will soar to 75 percent and banking will be over 90 percent by its predicted year.
Juniper Research author, Lauren Foye, commented in the company’s news release about the average savings and AI’s impact on future jobs. She said, “We believe that health care and banking providers using bots can expect average time savings of just over four minutes per enquiry, equating to average cost savings in the range of $0.50 to $0.70 per interaction. As artificial intelligence advances, reducing reliance on human representatives undoubtedly spells job losses.”
The issue that arises now is what will happen to workforces that rely on these simple interactions. According to Forrester’s research, automation overall won’t have a significant impact on the job arena until 2027. Although it highlights 14.9 million new jobs will be created, it also shares that 24.7 million jobs will be lost. Forrester says that one of the biggest impacts automation will have is how it transforms the way in which people work.
Just as the Industrial Revolution saw a major shift in the way manufacturing processes worked in the late 1700s through the early 1800s, chatbot’s ability to transform the way businesses operate via streamlined automated services may start a new enterprise revolution.